I can’t say that I make the wisest decisions when it comes to the type of meals I cook. I don’t stick to seasons and am not afraid to mix different nationalities with starters and desserts. This cook was an example of an incorrect seasonal cook. I made soup. In the height of the South African Summer, in my exceptionally warm Johannesburg flat, I made soup. Luckily I used my slow cooker so the time in the hot kitchen was limited, but it was more the ‘sitting around the table schvitzing and eating soup’ kind of heat that wasn’t ideal. I’d like to say I’ll plan better next time, but probs not! In any event, the soup was tasty and my guests didn’t mind overheating while they ate it. The red lentil soup recipe can be found here. I made an Egyptian lentil soup last year which felt similar in some ways initially (mainly because it was a lentil soup), but quite different flavour wise. I can’t say whether I prefer one or the other.
Soup is incomplete without bread. I had good ol Woolies Low GI Seed Loaf in the freezer which I considered (it’s delicious with some butter and then dipped in the soup), but felt it was a bit lazy, and I also wanted to try a Lebanese flatbread too. The Man’oushe recipe can be found here. The dough was slightly sticky and didn’t rise a hell of a lot, but worked out really well when I rolled it out. Prior to cooking it I made my own Za’atar spice, which can be found here. I used thyme from our garden, and lemon zest in place of sumac (sumac is a plant and can be used in red powder form for cooking). This spice was added to olive oil and then spread on the bread prior to cooking. It was one of the most incredible flavours on the bread – I really loved it and it was quite moreish (although as I’m discovering with most of the bread I make, it doesn’t stay fresh for long – no impurities/preservatives and all that jazz!)
Oh I forgot to mention, this soup was made in my slow cooker..Winning! A definite repeat cook! Oh, and Lebanon is part of Asia and it borders Syria and Israel!